June 24, 2020

West Auckland schools heating up for Easy Choice cooking competition

Chicken noodle soup, smoked fish pie and corned beef with mashed potatoes – all quintessential kiwi recipes students across West Auckland are learning to prepare, cook and share thanks to the Sporting Chance Challenge – a Sport Waitākere initiative.

This month, Sport Waitākere will deliver over 3,000 Winter Easy Choice Cookbooks to 21 schools in West Auckland. Students will choose a recipe from the cookbook, prepare and share it with their whānau – with the chance to win a $200 sports voucher. Sport Waitākere CEO, Lynette Adams, explains.

“We are thrilled to have 21 schools sign up to this initiative which will see 3,000 Easy Choice cookbooks delivered into homes across West Auckland. This competition will support children to learn practical skills and recipes in the kitchen, establishing healthy habits which last a lifetime.”

Over 6,000 Winter Easy Choice cookbooks have been printed thanks to The Trusts, with 3,000 now freely available throughout its retail outlets. The cookbooks also contain simple tips and tricks to help stretch the grocery budget further, alongside helpful information on portion size and food groups.

Healthy Families Waitākere, Manager, Kerry Allan, explains the Easy Choice concept was initially developed in 2018, working partnership with the community to find solutions to making healthy affordable more food accessible. The Easy Choice resource was an idea that took hold, and the local Fresh Choice supermarkets in Rānui and Glen Eden were a key partner.

“Community were actively involved throughout its development, deciding on what kind of information they’d like included and even sending in their family’s favourite recipes for inclusion.”

Easy Choice has proved so popular it’s now managed by the national Love Food Hate Waste programme, ensuring families across Aotearoa can readily access the cookbooks online. Kerry continues.

“Encouraging children to make their own decisions about what food they eat, while learning about healthy choices leads to healthy habits which can last a lifetime. The school environment, parents and caregivers all play a significant role in shaping these habits, supporting children to develop healthier eating behaviours early in life. In doing so, it reduces the risk of developing preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes and keeps our community’s healthy throughout their lifetime.”

  • For information on the Sporting Chance Challenge contact Michael Mau’u
  • For information on where to pick up a copy of Easy Choice click here
  • For digital copies of Easy Choice click here